According to Page Six reports:
Detroit woman Sophia Eggleston claims she is the real-life version of Cookie Lyon, the hardcore diva who makes “Empire” so darn interesting!
Eggleston, 53, has filed a $300 million lawsuit against co-creator Lee Daniels and Fox accusing them of stealing her life story for their hit show. In the suit Eggleston was a drug kingpin who did jail time for manslaughter for placing a hit on a man, and she claims she wrote her life story into a memoir about her early drug lifestyle titled “The Hidden Hand.” In 2011, she traveled to LA to meet with screenwriter Rita Miller and gave Miller a copy of her book. Her copyright suit filed in US District Court in Michigan says she got a call from Miller several months later saying she was going to pitch her story to Daniels.
“Empire” aired on Fox in 2015, 4 years after Miller was given the script. But it didn’t stop Eggleston from saying Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, was “similar in behavior, style of dress, and background” to her. Both she and Cookie share a unexplainable love for mink coats and both had a gay family member. The suit says Eggleston was “dismayed to see the various similarities of events and characters . . . so numerous and specific, . . . Cookie Lyon, that independent creation was obviously impossible.”
The suit alleges specific similarities to Eggleston’s life: “Cookie was a drug kingpin that went to jail. So did plaintiff Eggleston. Cookie is released from jail confinement and immediately places a hit on a certain individual. Plaintiff . . . actually was jailed for doing the actual hit on a man.”
Reps for Fox, Daniels and “Empire” co-creator and writer Danny Strong, also named in the suit, declined to comment. Strong has said he hatched the idea after hearing a radio story about Sean Combs and pitched it as a “hip hop ‘King Lear.’”
“The whole city’s been telling me Cookie is basically me. Any jury would rule for me — $300 million is a very small price for taking my whole life and stealing it,” Eggleston said.